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Two-thirds “annoyed” with HOA, survey says

HoaTwo-thirds of people who live in the jurisdiction of a homeowners association are "annoyed" by them, or worse, and 19% have been in what they call a "war" with their HOA. This is according to a survey of more than 3,000 customers by Service Magic.

On the upside, 24% responded positively about HOAs. However, while a primary purpose of HOAs is to force neighbors to keep up the appearance of their homes, 54% of respondents said they’d rather live with a “sloppy neighbor” than deal with an HOA. Here are the results to this question:

What is your opinion of homeowners associations?

They’re great 8%
They’re okay 16%
Minor annoyance 21%
Major headache 48%
No opinion 7%

Plus, 78% of those responding to the poll said they might consider NOT buying a home because it would be under the jurisdiction of an HOA. So why do HOAs seem to be flourishing? What’s your take on this?

See results to all questions, and a short video on HOAs by expert David Lupberger.


4 Comments on Two-thirds “annoyed” with HOA, survey says

  1. HOAs exist because of local governments’ endorsement. Developers convince the local government that the houses will bring in needed revenue (taxes) while no maintenance of the roads will be needed because the HOAs will pay for them.
    There are also many people who make their living off HOA related businesses. Hence, the benefits (most not true) of HOAs continue to permeate the real estate business.

  2. Lou is correct. HOAs exist because that is often the only way a city/jurisdiction will allow higher-density development (or any development, in some areas.)
    That being said, I have owned and lived in two HOA developments, and been on the boards at both. Believe me, it would be better for everyone involved if those who cannot handle living with the concept of oversight just stayed out. Part of the deal is that the higher-density conditions and the lack of a city government taking care of streets, etc, means that someone (your neighbor, or maybe you! ) is in charge.
    Let’s face it: you are either paying less than what you would for a freestanding, no-HOA home or you are getting a newer home. There is a compromise here, no free lunch.
    One last point: there are plenty of HOAs run by abusive board members, or controlled by money-skimming management companies. Such places deserve derision, but they are not the norm. (Flipside: There are also always troublemakers who cause HOAs to waste huge amounts of time and money because they refuse to adhere to the CC&Rs they agreed to in escrow!)

  3. Ours is trying to foreclose on a guy who bought an REO eyesore and is fixing it up. His insurance company made him put up a 6-foot fence because the property has a pool. The fence is too tall on one side, the HOA little old lady nazis say, and they’re levying fines so they can foreclose.

  4. Love the OC // April 8, 2008 at 1:12 pm // Reply

    I agree with appraiser1 – The benefits are great living in HOA’s. The rules are there keep our neighborshoods looking good and thereby keeping our home values up – one very important issue some forget!

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